A few months back, I created my newsletter in Revue, Twitter’s very own newsletter platform, and I kinda liked it.
Little did I know that the platform would be closed by year’s end. The funny thing is, this newsletter platform was acquired by Twitter in January 2021 for an undisclosed sum.
The social media platform’s acquisition of Revue was welcomed by its users since they would be easily able to convert their Twitter followers into email subscribers, resulting in more revenue.
This was at the time when the pandemic was at its peak and everyone was writing online, which created a boom for newsletters and blogging platforms. Hence, the acquisition also made sense at the time.
Why Revue failed?
Twitter has been losing money for months now. As per the article posted by The Wall Street Journal, the platform hasn’t booked an annual profit since 2019 and posted a loss in eight years of the past decade.
Now, because Twitter isn’t an advertising powerhouse such as Facebook (now Meta) or Google, the platform has always struggled to generate the much-needed stable revenue streams. One such attempt was to acquire alternative business models, such as paid newsletters.
Just like TikTok inspired Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts, Twitter’s Revue acquisition happened when the leading newsletter platform, Substack, were making all the waves.
Unfortunately, email newsletters are starkly different from short videos that are driven by platforms’ algorithms. The building of an email list is heavily dependent on the creators and their content.
If the followers find value in those newsletters, they will subscribe (or pay). However, the conversion rate from free followers of the newsletter to paid subscribers is very small.
Now, the average Twitter user only reaches 1–2% of their followers with a post, whereas the average email marketer gets anywhere from 20–40% open rates from subscribers.
To put it simply, if I subscribe to my favourite creator through the Revue newsletter, my chances of being on ad-supported Twitter will be greatly reduced, thereby reducing the revenue.
Also, Revue is unable to compete with newsletters such as Substack and Ghost. Influencers and creators would share their newsletters in their Twitter bios or in the pinned tweet.
Hence, Revue getting discontinued is one of the few ways for Twitter to stop bleeding money.
Revue Founder Disappointment
Martijn de Kuijper, the founder of Revue, has also expressed extreme disappointment on the news via a tweet.
He was more disappointed because his product was acquired by Twitter just a year ago.
However, if the parent company decides to close the product you created, there is nothing you can do.
Elon Musk has been experimenting a lot to create stable revenue streams to keep Twitter afloat, which otherwise is drowning in debt every passing day.
Like everyone else, I’m very disappointed that Revue is being phased out. I did have fewer followers, but just think about the people who have subscribers by the hundreds and thousands.
Well, there’s a way to export those email lists to a newer platform. I would strongly recommend substack.